Do you think your kid has what it takes to make it in show business? Does your son have the cutest face, your daughter the sweetest smile? There are plenty of opportunities for kids in San Diego theater; you just have to know where to look and how to get started!
How to Prepare for the World of Child Acting
San Diego is a great place for young actors to get experience. Once your child has learned the basics in private acting lessons or classes, they might be begging for auditions and a real shot at stage or film acting. When you get to that point, make sure you done the following four important things to protect yourself and your young actor.
- Get a Permit
Children under 18 who want to take paid work as an actor or model in San Diego will need a permit. As a parent, you’ll have to stop by the local California Labor Board and fill out the appropriate forms. Approval usually only takes a few days, but the license needs to be updated every six months.
- Set up a Coogan Account
A Coogan account, named for Coogan’s Law and Jackie Coogan, a child actor who fought intense legal battles with his parents over the right to his earnings, is a legal necessity for minors in show business. By law, 15 percent of your child’s earnings as an actor must be put into a Coogan account, which is a trust account that can’t be touched by anyone until your child turns 18.
- Find an Agent
If you’re having trouble finding audition opportunities, you may want to look into working with an agent. These professionals know the industry, plain and simple. They know which casting directors need kids for their productions and who is most likely to hire based on specific looks or talent. You can find agent listings on the Screen Actors Guild San Diego page, and these agents should be able to help you find San Diego theater and television opportunities for your kids.
- Find Auditions and Prepare
If you opt not to find an agent, there are still plenty of resources available to you to find auditions. Here are several to check out:
- Give Your Child the Skills to Succeed
The more special skills your child has, the more likely he or she is to make it in the acting world. Singing and dancing are the most traditional skills for actors to showcase, so this is a good place to start when trying to turn directors’ heads. Consider music lessons and learning another language to really make your child’s portfolio stand out.
Even if you really do have the cutest, most talented kid in the world — and of course, you do! — acting lessons with a professional can make all the difference to a casting director. TakeLessons can help you find the perfect teacher for your child, whether he or she wants to focus on theater acting, television acting, or even Broadway singing with a side of ballet and contemporary dance. As with any natural talent, acting needs to be polished and nurtured by a skilled professional in the industry so that your child can really make the most of San Diego theater opportunities. Good luck on your journey!
Photo by EaglebrookSchool